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Showing posts from May, 2019

Jesus on the 46A

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Jesus was on the bus today. He got on the 46A at the stop at UCD. He scanned his bus pass and despite his advanced years, nimbly navigated the stairs to go to the upper deck, bag in hand. As he passed, people began to swear at him, move away, open windows, put their own bags on the seat near them so he wouldn’t sit near them. He stank strongly of urine and his clothes looked like they hadn’t been washed in months.
“He shouldn’t have been let on the bus”, I hear a voice say behind me. “He doesn’t look homeless”, another said. “I’m going to be sick”, another said, as she rose, pressed the bell for the next stop and went down the stairs. 
Jesus was on the bus.

He was sat two seats away from me and all others had moved away from around him. Part of me wanted to turn around and say, ‘it’s okay’, the other part afraid to encounter the pain that might be in his eyes because of the reactions, the rejection and the judgement. Another part of me thought the real ‘Christian’ thing to do would be…

'Life is an ocean'- Following St. Brendan the Navigator

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Today the Church in Ireland celebrates the memorial of St Brendan the Navigator. St. Brendan travelled tirelessly to evangelise and establish monasteries following his ordination to the priesthood at age 28. The sixth-century monk frequently sailed the high seas to spread the Gospel throughout Ireland as well as to Scotland, Wales and Brittany in the north of France. According to a 1,500-year-old Irish tale, however, St. Brendan embarked on one particularly epic journey in the winter of his 93-year-old life. Here, he is said to have set out onto the Atlantic Ocean with sixty pilgrims searching for the Garden of Eden! Regardless of what we think or believe about St. Brendan's voyages, they have a lot to teach us!

As a symbol for life’s pilgrimage, I return to my roots. I think of those Celtic monks who sailed out to sea in coracles, little boats, without a rudder for steering. The coracle was not just a boat, it speaks of much more–of journey and pilgrimage, risk and wonder, fear…

Do you love me?! Gospel reflection for 3rd Sunday of Easter

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May Day- May Day!

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Not a cry of distress but a reminder of a feastday we have today in Ireland- May Day. Today my Dad is on my mind a lot. I was thinking back to the years in primary schools where we prepared May altars religiously. My Dad was a brilliant gardener and had a beautiful garden, however we weren’t allowed to pick the flowers that often! One of those few occasions was for the school May Altar when it was ‘our turn’ to bring the flowers. I was always so proud to bring in that big bunch of red homegrown roses, purple lupin, bright orange marigolds, pretty forget-me-nots, vibrant dahlias and pure white lilies. Not only did they look beautiful but the perfume would fill the classroom and the other teachers who popped in would all comment on the beautiful flowers! I remember other times when the younger kids from the neighbourhood would try and ‘borrow’ some flowers. My Dad, possessive as he was of his hybrid roses, would give in and often snip one off and give it to the child, who would skip aw…